Fall is a transitional time of year. Even though we enjoy milder winters than much of the rest of the country here in the Bay Area, this is still a good time of year to make sure that everything in your home is in good working order before the cooler months arrive. This is definitely true for your plumbing system, so today we’re going to provide you with six plumbing and water heater tips for fall that will help you avoid issues and increase the efficiency of your home in the months to come!
6 plumbing tips for fall in the Bay Area
- 1. Flush your water heater (newer units). Your water heater works the hardest during the coldest months of the year, so fall is a good time to perform maintenance tasks that will improve its efficiency levels. One such task is flushing your water heater. Sediment tends to build up at the bottom of water heater tanks over time, which forces your unit to work harder to keep the water in the tank hot. By draining a few gallons of water out of your water heater, you can flush out sediment that has built up at the bottom of the tank and improve your unit’s efficiency levels. *Please note that Cabrillo only recommends doing this for water heaters that are five years old or younger. Flushing older water heaters, especially ones that are not well maintained, can damage the tank and cause leaking.
- 2. Test your water heater’s TP relief valve (newer units). You should check your water heater’s temperature pressure relief valve at least once per year. Fall is one of the best times of year to do this because, as we mentioned above, it’s right before your water heater will be working the hardest. To test your TP relief valve, lift the lever and make sure that water comes out of the discharge pipe. This water will be hot, so be sure that you stay out of contact with it. If nothing comes out, contact Cabrillo so we can inspect the problem right away. *Please note that this is another task that Cabrillo only recommends doing if your water heater is five years old or younger. If you have an older water heater, contact Cabrillo to have it professionally maintained (below).
- 3. Schedule a water heater tune-up. The best way to ensure that your water heater is working properly is to schedule a tune-up for your unit. During a tune-up, we’ll perform the above tasks for you, as well as a number of other maintenance tasks like cleaning your unit’s burners and testing the gas valve to ensure that your system is ready to operate safely and efficiently during the colder months ahead.
- 4. Be careful of what you put down your drains. With temperatures cooling down, people tend to make more hearty meals like soups, stocks and roasts. If you have a garbage disposal at home, be sure to avoid grinding up problematic scraps from these types of meals such as large animal bones, potato peels, celery stalks, onion skins, rice and pastas. In addition, never pour grease down your drains because it is one of the leading causes of clogging.
- 5. Check for hidden leaks around your house. This is a good time of year to inspect your home for any hidden water leaks that might have gone unnoticed for the past few months. To do this, walk around your home and check the areas around all of your plumbing fixtures (toilets, showers, sinks etc.) and look for any signs of water buildup. Also be sure to check the cabinets under all of your sinks as well as your walls, ceilings and floors. If you suspect any leaks, contact Cabrillo so we can seal them up!
- 6. Shut off the water to your outdoor faucets. If you’re done using your outdoor faucets for the year, shut off the water valve to those faucets. This will help avoid any possible leaks from occurring out of those fixtures during the months that they are not in use.
If you have any questions about these plumbing tips for fall, or if you’d like a plumbing system serviced or installed in your home, contact Cabrillo, your Bay Area plumbing, heating and cooling company.